Senior Cat Care (Geriatric)
We provide specialized care for your senior pet.
When a cat reaches his or her senior years, it’s important to catch and prevent health issues early on through specialized senior care exams and diagnostic testing. Biannual wellness exams are recommended for senior cats because they help our veterinarians detect and treat any medical conditions before they progress and begin to negatively impact your cat’s quality of life.
Although natural changes will occur as your cat matures, some changes can indicate an underlying medical problem that should be addressed by one of our veterinarians right away.
Call us as soon as possible if your senior cat has symptoms including:
- Weight loss or gain.
- Decrease in appetite or difficulty eating.
- Increase in appetite.
- Increased water intake.
- Bad breath or drooling.
- Depression or listless behavior.
- Changes to hair coat quality.
- Increased heart rate or open mouth breathing.
- Vomiting or abnormal stools.
- Loss of muscle tone.
- Excess or change in urination frequency, volume, etc.
- Changes in litter box habits.
- Signs of pain with movement or handling.
- A new lump or growth, especially if it appears to increase in size quickly.
- Sudden tendency to bite or jump away from your lap when you brush or pet your cat.
- Decreased activity level or increased stiffness.
Here Are Some Important Senior Cat Tips:
- Schedule regular visits with your veterinarian.
- Ask for a body condition evaluation during each vet visit.
- Ask your veterinarian to do a geriatric blood panel on your pet. That way you have a starting point if your pet does get sick.
- Feed your older cat a diet with adequate protein levels.
- Feed your cat to remain at its ideal body weight.
- Consider fortifying your senior cat’s diet with fatty acids such as DHA and EPA.
Senior Cat Care (FAQ)
Due to improved veterinary care and dietary habits, pets are living longer now than they ever have before. One consequence of this is that pets, along with their owners and veterinarians, are faced with a whole new set of age-related conditions. In recent years there has been extensive research on the problems facing older pets and how their owners and veterinarians can best handle their special needs.
Q: When does a Cat become “old”?
A: It varies, but cats and small dogs are generally considered geriatric at the age of 7. Larger breed dogs tend to have shorter life spans and are considered geriatric when they are approximately 6 years of age. Owners tend to want to think of their pet’s age in human terms. While it is not as simple as “1 human year = X cat/dog years”, there are calculations that can help put a pet’s age in human terms.